The Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (TCMA) oak (Quercus spp.) forest area decreased by 5.6% between 1991 and 1998. Accompanying spatial transformation of the forest can have great impacts on forest health, water flow and quality, wildlife habitat, potential for the spread of invasive species, and the quality of life of urban residents. The types of spatial transformation that occurred along with the loss of oak forest in the TCMA were investigated through the integration of remote sensing, a Geographic Information System (GIS), and landscape and patch metrics in seven ecological subsections between 1991 and 1998. Oak forest patches in the TCMA as a whole decreased in area, number, and complexity. Fragmentation of oak forest took place in all subsections and attrition occurred in three subsections. Knowledge of how the oak forest has changed over time can be integrated with land use change information to help planners make decisions about zoning and development that will minimize the impacts of increasing land conversion pressure on forest areas.
- Remote sensing